Jack Myers is author of Hooked Up: A New Generation’s Surprising Take on Sex, Violence and Saving the World, the International Book Award winner for youth issues and women’s issues. Ever notice just how many movies, books, video games, TV series and songs there are about a post-apocalyptic age? Among those who have grown up in the last two decades, stories about the apocalypse have been a constant presence. Some of the Gen Z cohort, born post-1995, view this doomsday negatively, others celebrate it, and still others talk about it like any other event in human history. The apocalypse has dominated pop culture and to understand how this generation views the world and their own future it’s important to understand how formative and influential post-apocalyptic films, television, games and books have been in the young lives of “the Post-Apocalyptic Generation." Those born after 1990 have grown up with the end of the world as a constant presence. Films, TV series, games and books have warned about destroying the planet, have asked hard questions about sexual ethics and the environment, have shown a divide between cities and rural areas, and have brought up many issues that the next generation will be confronting and resolving for decades ahead. Are they learning to build a fair and just society or being guided on a self-fulfilling path that leads to destruction? In my interviews among current and recent college graduates who are part of the emerging Gen Z cohort born post-1995 and the last of the Millennials born 1990-1994, conducted for my books Hooked Up and The Future of Men, I discovered a clear and present understanding of the dangers they face as they enter their adult years and gain responsibility for the global crises they are inheriting. Much of their understanding and many of their perceptions have been defined by post-apocalyptic media they’ve been exposed to throughout their young lives. Below, I share their perspectives, with several direct quotes from interviews and submitted responses to questions, combined with my overview.
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